Christchurch travel writer and columnist Joe Bennett’s quest to find the origins of his five-pack of Chinese-manufactured underpants, took him to a remote western corner of China and the cotton fields of Xinjiang. Bennett’s odyssey, entitled Where Underpants Come From, unravels the mysterious workings of global capitalism. Bennett’s trip enabled him to better understand the modern consumer. “They are rich, silly and grasping, very much in the manner of donkeys chasing the unachievable carrot,” he says. “You don’t buy happiness in a department store. But the illusion is an illusion of crucial importance to a Western capitalist society.” Bennett’s columns are syndicated in newspapers throughout New Zealand.